Sunday, 26 June 2016

Finally the flowers show

Finally the flowers show

A lot of the self seeded Poppies have come and gone, and the Sweet Williams have been showing for a while, and although the Corn Cockles started flowering a while ago it's only now that they are out in numbers.

June 2016, Old Bonfire site
This is the old bonfire site that I seeded a couple of seasons ago. Most of what is there is now self seeded although when I was walking past this site in the Autumn and early spring I often chucked a few seeds at it. I presume I threw a few Sweet Williams down because I wasn't expecting them. 

This is how I wanted a few other areas of the garden to look but nowhere else has taken as well as the chard, full of ash, didn't expect much site of the old fire.

Pond June 2016
The area around the pond is about to burst into life. The Red Campions have been and gone but the White ones are still going strong (middle of photo). On the right are self seeded Sweet Williams with loads of Daisies about to flower behind them.

The trellis put up to help shelter the poly-tunnel from the wind became another flower bed, with a few mixed packets of flowers plus a few handfuls of Corn Cockles thrown in. Sown in the spring, it's about to burst into life after being ravished by slugs. I also planted a few spare runner beans along the trellis. Because the sun keeps being intermittent, I had missed a few Livingston Daisies that are in flower. They open and close with the sun and I just managed to catch them fully open. 
Trellis bed, June 2016
These were a nice surprise as I don't remember them listed on the packet but when ever I get free seed I often throw them somewhere hoping for a surprise so these may well be a thrown in after thought.

There are a few neglected areas this year where I just haven't had time to sort things out. A few of the small beds next to the green house have self seeded chard and spinach but also a giant poppy which has been in various places around the garden in previous years but I don't know what it is. I like things that just appear, even if I don't know what they are. There was one in the bonfire site last year and in the fruit garden the previous year. No idea where it came from but it could have been from a packet, or the previous owner or, probably, some seed I grabbed walking past somewhere and just through on the floor.
Around the pergola I have runner beans on all 3 sides with sunflowers in the middle of the bed and then some Cosmos and Marigolds on the edge of all sides. I'm hoping for a layered effect. 

Nasturtium have self seeded and one or 2 of last years failed Dahlias have shown themselves. Last year the bed was full of pot started Dahlias which when planted out got 100% eaten by slugs. These were replaced with lots of spare tomato plants, which have also self seeded this year. There is also a self seeded Dog Rose just starting and I'm pleased with the 2 young grape vines which have made it through the winter. I have weeded the bed of thistles on three occasions now and have had to resort to using slug pellets on this bed but, like a few other beds, this one is not far off flowering. The beans got a little stunted with slug damage and a few cold nights a month ago but they are now happily climbing. I've only lost 2 or 3 sunflowers with about a dozen remaining.

I'm rather hoping with the tall beans and their pretty red flowers, tall sun flowers along with the Cosmos and Marigolds and the odd Dahlia that this bed will look fantastic. The Sunflowers are from bird seed. I bought 25kg of sunflower seed for the birds and have half of it left. It is a couple of years old but germination rates have been close to 100%. No idea what type of sunflowers they are, but they look like they will be tall ones.
Pergola bed, June 2016

The photo shows the back side, this arrangement of plants is also on the other 2 sides.

The Greenhouse tomatoes have grown well and are a minimum of twice the size of the outdoor ones although we had to clean the greenhouse windows as I think they have become a bit leggy, reaching for the sky looking for more light. The windows were a tad dirty and hand't been cleaned for 3 years. Anyway, that's another job done that can be crossed off of the list!
Greenhouse June 26th 2016

There are a lot of flowers but the young tomatoes are only 1 or 2mm in size. 

The Tay Berry in it's second year has really come alive. Last year there were a few berries but this year it has really gone for it. Hopefully I'll get to them before the kids do.

The Logan berry is also looking good with plenty of berries.

Tay Berry June 2016
Else where, the Asparagus bed has only half survived so I have let them go to seed and will try and sow these in the Autumn / next Spring because I'm still hopeful of having a nice big Asparagus bed. In the mean time this bed is home to 10 or so Courgette plants inter planted with Sprout....well, it seemed like they would go together! The Courgette plants almost all have Courgettes on with 3 or 4 almost good enough size to harvest. I'm hoping to take a few to sell on the Market just to see if anyone will buy and if not they'll have to be part of Tuesday's dinner.
Asparagus Bed, June 2016

There are thousands of Raspberries but with all the rain they are rather swollen and are breaking apart as we try to pick them. More rain as I write means that my hopes of selling some aren't looking too good. The strawberries are ripening nicely but we may be well down on these since my idea of weeding one of the beds was to cover them with manure. The weeds are mainly gone but obviously so are the strawberries. This wouldn't have been a problem had it not been for the fact that the original strawberry bed was neglected and isn't doing to well after I weeded it and those plants are a bit old. The new Strawberry bed was also neglected and although there are hundreds of plants they are almost totally covered in weeds. I'm going to weed them tomorrow but I think the slugs may have a strong hold under all that vegetation.


  1. I'm not sure what happened to the poppy seeds I sowed. I have them growing like weeds in front of the house where I don't want them, but not where I actually want them.

    Self seeding from plants you introduced is good. They're a sign your garden is a living system rather than something that would just fall apart if you went away for a month. Do you find that you can identify most seedlings on sight now? If I don't know what something is I often wait for it to get a bit bigger until I can identify it. Self seeded plants also often seem happier than things that spend the start of their life in a pot.

    Sunflowers sown outside didn't work out for me this year. I scattered hundreds of seeds I collected last year and not one came up. So in the end I started a few off in the greenhouse because I think our two year old will enjoy them.

    We've started eating mini-courgettes now. I planted four plants, so if we let them turn into marrows there's too much to get through. They're at their best when only slightly bigger than finger-size...

    1. Some seedlings I can identify straight away but like you I tend to let them grow until I know what they are...then I forget to remove them, then they go to seed, then they become a problem :)

      Sunflowers sown outdoors are always a problem. I have what has now turned in to a dream of a big wall of them half way up the garden. I sow hundreds, they always germinate and the slugs get them. I sow hundreds more (these are from bird seed) and they fail. I then raise a load (100+) in the green house and plant them out. I'm still hopeful of 20 surviving but another one 18 inches tall got felled last night as slugs went through the main stem.

      Courgettes, I have 10 in one bed and a few more else where. Today, for the market, I picked 2 reasonable size ones and 10 small ones. The small ones were about as thick as their stem. The small ones sold almost immediately, the 2 larger ones didn't.